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Incontinence and Crippling Fatigue Disrupts Education and Ruins Job Prospects for Children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

July 3, 2014

VIENNA, July 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Debilitating daily symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) not only cause
depression and psychological complications in young people, but also significantly
disrupts their education and ability to stay at work. In response to a new study
highlighting the impact of IBD on children, United European Gastroenterology (UEG),
Europe’s largest digestive health body, is calling for quicker diagnosis and treatment to
minimise the impact IBD has on childrens’ education and future employment.

(Photo:
http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140703/694662-a-INFO )

The Impact of IBD Study[1] recently published in the Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis,
reveals that a quarter of young IBD sufferers across Europe, had to take over 25 days off
work in the last year and almost a third (31%) had lost or had to quit their job.[1] 61%
felt that their symptoms had affected their ability to perform to their full potential in
an educational setting[1] with many having at least 3 months absent from school per
year[2].

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a life-long condition that causes inflammation in
the intestine and is increasing in children with 30% of all IBD patients presenting with
symptoms between the ages of 10 and 19.[3] The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases
are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, affecting around 70 in every 100,000
children[4].

IBD can be difficult to diagnose with patients not always presenting with all the most
common symptoms and the Impact of IBD Study also reports alarming delays in diagnosis with
17% of under 18′s waiting more than 5 years to receive a final diagnosis. This can further
impact on the patients’ mental wellbeing and ability to plan for their future.

As well as having to cope with the debilitating physical symptoms, including faecal
incontinence and abdominal cramping, IBD patients also experience sleep deprivation and
continual or profound fatigue which can severely affect their self-esteem[5] and a quarter
of these patients also suffer from depression.[6] In fact, researchers have found that
fatigue in people with IBD is comparable to those suffering from cancer[7] making it
extremely difficult to perform in the classroom or remain at work.

Dr Nikhil Thapar, Consultant Paediatric Gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street and
UEG spokesperson, explains, “Constant fatigue and the fear of abdominal pain and
incontinence, can make it impossible for young patients with ulcerative colitis and
Crohn’s disease to continue in education and hold down a job. It is essential that they
are diagnosed and begin treatment as quickly as possible to help them manage their
symptoms enabling them to stay at school and continue to work. It is also important that
they receive psychological support, to optimise their mental and emotional wellbeing.”

References

        1) EFCCA Impact of IBD Study 2010-2011. Published J Crohns and Colitis. 2014
          March 21
        2) Moody G, Eaden JA, Mayberry JF. Social implications of childhood Crohn's
          disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1999; 28: S43-5
        3) Problems in the diagnosis of IBD in children. H.A Buller. Paediatric
          Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Academic Medical Centre, University of Amsterdam - The
          Netherlands Journal of Medicine.
        4) Kappelman MD, Rifas-Shiman SL, Kleinman K et al. The prevalence and
          geographic distribution of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the United
          States. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2007; 5:1424-9.
        5) The Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Young People - The impact on education and
          employment report - downloadable from the http://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk
        6) Szigethy E, McLafferty L, Goyal A. Inflammatory bowel disease. Pediatr Clin
          North Am 2011; 58: 903-20.
        7) Minderhoud IM, Oldenburg B, van Dam PS, van Berge Henegouwen GP. High
          prevalence of fatigue in quiescent inflammatory bowel disease is not related to
          adrenocortical insufficiency. Am J Gastroenterol 2003 May: 98 (5): 1088-93.

Notes to Editors

About UEG

UEG, or United European Gastroenterology, is a professional non-profit organisation
combining all the leading European societies concerned with digestive diseases. Together,
its member societies represent over 22,000 specialists, working across medicine, surgery,
paediatrics, gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopy. This makes UEG the most
comprehensive organisation of its kind in the world, and a unique platform for
collaboration and the exchange of knowledge.

To advance standards of gastroenterological care and knowledge across Europe and the
world, UEG offers numerous activities and initiatives, including:

        - UEG Week [http://www.ueg.eu/week ], the biggest congress of its kind in
          Europe, and one of the two largest in the world
        - Courses [http://www.ueg.eu/education/courses/trainee-courses/upcoming-course
          ], covering the latest science and clinical information in the field, including
          diagnosis, treatment and real-life examples
        - UEG e-learning [http://www.ueg.eu/education/e-learning ], an ever-expanding
          archive of over 11,000 documents and more than 1,000 multimedia items, as well as
          accredited e-courses
        - Training Support [http://www.ueg.eu/education/ts ], funding for innovative
          training and educational programmes, as well as international scientific and
          professional co-operations
        - UEG Journal [http://www.ueg.eu/journal ], published bi-monthly, covering
          translational and clinical studies from all areas of gastroenterology
        - EU Affairs [http://www.ueg.eu/eu-affairs/activities ], promoting research,
          prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases, and helping develop
          an effective health policy for Europe

Find out more about UEG’s work. Visit http://www.ueg.eu

*EFCCA (European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations) Impact of
IBD Study

The IMPACT survey was commissed in 2010-2011 by EFCCA and involved over 5000 people
with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
[http://www.lifeandibd.org ], in 27 European countries.

To find out more about EFCCA and the Impact Survey visit: http://www.efcca.org

To arrange press interview with Dr Nikhil Thapar, UEG Spokesperson and Consultant
Gastroenterologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, please contact Samantha Forster,
details below.

        Press contacts
        Samantha Forster:
        samantha@spinkhealth.com
        Tel: +44-(0)1444-811099


    Photo: 

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140703/694662-a-INFO

SOURCE UEG


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